Briton fears group will die with Koresh

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The Independent Online
THE sister of one of the 45 British followers of the Branch Davidian cult under siege in a compound in Waco, Texas, yesterday said that she believed the leader, David Koresh, was planning to die and take the rest of the group with him.

Gladys Williams said she was under enormous strain because of the uncertainty about whether her sister, Yvette Fagan, and her husband, Livingstone, from Nottingham, were alive.

'It's very difficult,' said Ms Williams, from north London. 'You just have no idea what's happening. I'm just here sitting and waiting for news. But the signs are that he will go and take them with him. I just feel that this man believes he is Jesus Christ. They have got them to believe it and from past experience and knowledge of these cults they are not just going to give up.'

But Ms Williams at least has the relief of knowing that her nephew and niece, Nahara, four, and Renee, six, have been released and are safe in the hands of child welfare officers with whom she has been in contact. The fear, however, is that the children have only been allowed to go because their parents are among those who died when armed agents attempted to storm the compound.

Paul Horslen, whose brother- in-law, Winston Blake, is believed to be still inside, echoed her fears and told of his concern that more people would be killed. 'The longer it goes on, the more I fear it's going to become a stalemate and somebody is going to be forced to take some positive action to bring an end to it,' he said.

The mother of Ricky Bennett, a cult follower from the Blackley area of Manchester, told how he had telephoned her just two weeks ago, but that his manner had caused her concern. Lucille Maynard, a nurse, said: 'He said he was well, but . . . I'm convinced he's been brainwashed.'